As I contemplated my theme for my yoga classes this week, it was difficult not to feel overwhelmed (once again) by the deep hurt, fear, anger and separation permeating our country and world. Where do we go from here? How do we pick up the pieces and find a way to move through? I seem to have a love/hate relationship with the news programming right now. On the one hand I want to know what is going on. On the other hand, if I am not careful, I find the weight of the world piling down on my shoulders and I feel at a loss.
And so I turn to what I know for groundedness. On the running trails I discuss with my friends the latest news and events that are coming so fast the ground is spinning. We share our thoughts and between our steps is the quiet acknowledgement of shared community. On the yoga mat I practice compassion (for self and others), patience, generosity of spirit, and loving kindness. I move with the breath, exhaling the tension, the fears, the heaviness. Breath is my metronome for connecting to myself deeply and fully so that I can connect with others.
Off the mat, I do what I know I can do- wake up each day determined to make a difference. Maybe it’s a tiny blip of a difference, but if I can bring smile to a stranger’s face, open the door for one person, reach out and touch a heart, it’s been a good day. Hope brings hope; love brings love; and compassion draws out compassion. Some of us move with fervent radical energy and ambition and I am so grateful everyday for them. I am doing what I can at this moment. I am attending huddle meetings, making phone calls, writing letters. I am paying sharp attention to the lens from which I am viewing the world and I am listening. I am trying to brighten the corner where I am. I breathe.
So, my theme became this: we share a common humanity. All of us are in this crazy world together. On your mat, find the breath. Inhale and exhale and release for yourself and others. Find the connection, the common thread. Then do this off the mat into the world. Let’s breathe together and in doing so, move forward in and with loving kindness.
So what is to be done?
I’m suggesting a return to a primordial language.
One that exists as the deepest knowledge and expression that humanity
It predates spoken language, it has it’s roots in the emergence of awe.
It is present in everyone, as an elemental music and reflection of molecular and stellar movement.
It is a genetic design built into leaf patterns and the bobbing of sea horses.
It is eminently present to children, we have educated it out of them.
But it is the story of our place in the universe and we must begin to tell that story again.
What we are losing is our ability to speak to the whole.
The songs of celebration, the poetry of praise.
Poem from Bringing Yoga to Life, by Donna Farah
Start where you are.